Newsletter - August 2021

Welcome to our August newsletter!

What a month it has been in the ACT as our bubble of no cases popped and we altogether embraced being Ken Behrens in leading the country as the jurisdiction with the highest vaccination rates. Keep up the great work! 

It is hard to say goodbye. And yet in this August newsletter, we farewell our CEO Marcia Williams and our Health Promotion Officer Amber Hutchison. 

Amber has been a highly skilled health promotion officer for more than 4.5 years with us who showed great passion and expertise in research and rigour with a substantial list of publications regarding women living chronic conditions, same-sex attracted women, physical activity, older women and much many more contributions to revealing health gaps for marginalised groups of women in the ACT, including soon to be released report about women living with disability. We wish her all the best in her future career in public health as she embarks on working in policy with the federal government.  

Marcia has been a driving force in improving the health and wellbeing of women in the ACT and surrounding region for more than a decade. We will miss her unwavering commitment to advocating for women, especially those experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability.

While we are saddened at this time, we are driven by the potential to continue our work for the women of the ACT, and excited by the potential we have for continued meaningful change in the community.

As we navigate the transition of Women's Health Matters to new leadership, we acknowledge the great support from you, our wonderful subscribers. Thank you for being a part of Women's Health Matters!

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Staff updates

Julia is independently running the show here while working from home and is in the thick of data analysis with the sexual assault support research and editing for the digital health navigation tool, as well as administrative and communication procedures. To keep updated about our projects, and keep up to date about health information follow us on Facebook or check out our website. If you need to contact us please send all correspondence to
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16-29? Register now for a COVID-19 vaccination

Canberrans aged between 16-29 years can now register for a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appointment at an ACT Government COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Registering for MyDHR will make it faster and easier to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment when you become eligible. Once registered, you’ll be sent a notification (SMS or email) when appointments become available. This will be when our supply of Pfizer vaccine increases. 

To register sign up online to MyDHR and answer the eligibility questions. If you’re unable to register online, call the COVID-19 vaccine booking line on (02) 5124 7700. The line operates from 7am to 7pm daily. Registrations are only available for ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinics, not GPs or pharmacies.

Visit the ACT Government COVID-19 vaccine website for more information.

Visit ACT Government COVID-19 vaccine website

Access Help during COVID-19 

Everyone needs a little help sometimes and it’s ok to ask for help when you need it. There are range of initiatives currently in place to provide extra support to Canberrans.

On the Access Help page of the COVID-19 website there is a list of some of the supports available including financial help, support with accessing food, mental health supports, domestic and family violence support, translated resources, communuty services and support for vulnerable groups and much more.

If you know someone (whether it’s a friend, neighbour, family member or community member) who doesn’t speak English as their first language, you might like to share ACT Government COVID-19 information available in 19 languages on the website about ACT lockdown rules, how to quarantine and where to get tested.
The SBS Australia multilingual portal also contains useful COVID-19 information in 63 languages.

Visit ACT Government COVID-19 Community support

Look after your mental health - ACT Health

Mental health support during COVID-19 

We know that this pandemic has had a major impact on all of us, especially on our mental health and wellbeing.

You may like to speak to a psychologist, counsellor, social worker, or mental health support worker to discuss how we are feeling.

If you need immediate support and assistance, please call Access Mental Health on 1800 629 354 or 6205 1065. These phone lines are open 24/7.

You can also call:
Lifeline – call 13 11 14
Beyondblue – call 1300 22 4636
Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia – call 1300 789 978
Sexual assault, family and domestic violence line - 1800 737 732
Suicide Call Back Service – call 1300 659 467

You will find more tips, links and resources on the ACT Health website.

See Mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19

Capital Health Network Needs Assessment Survey

The Capital Health Network, the ACT's Primary Health Network, is conducting a comprehensive community health needs assessment this year as required by the Australian Government Department of Health, to understand the health and services needs in the Canberra region.  They collect qualitative and quantitative data across many priority areas to inform their planning of future activities and advocate for the needs in the ACT.

They are seeking inputs from the community to capture the most accurate understanding of local needs as they can. Your contribution will also help inform potential solutions to address the needs in the future. There is a separate survey for health professionals and service providers.

The survey will take around 15 - 20 minutes to complete.  All your responses will be treated with respect, sincerity and confidentiality.  Your time and effort to inform them about what is important to you and the community will be much appreciated. 

The survey can be found at:  Please complete the survey by 15 September 2021

If you would like more information about survey or have any questions, please send an email to

Capital Health Network Needs Assessment Survey


What's on in September?

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for news and information relevant to women's health and wellbeing in the ACT.
Our Facebook page

It’s time to renew or join!!

Do you value women’s health?
Do you align with our mission, vision, values and objectives?
Why not join Women’s Health Matters?
We offer free membership that provides members with an insight to what is happening with women’s health in the ACT. You will receive communication, information and an opportunity to participate and drive the direction of the organisation.
How do you join?
Just fill out our very quick online form. Follow this link to our website that has the online form, and a few other options if paper is your preferred way of communicating.
You can also donate to us!
We are a Not-For-Profit that has DGR status, which means when you donate with us you donation will be tax deductable!
Join here


Jean Hailes advice for women

For most symptomatic women, the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) outweigh the risks. Yet many GPs remain reluctant to prescribe it. Is it time to reconsider?

As an expert in the field, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison understands that consultations on menopause are complex. Women present with different symptoms and needs. Some will be distressed by their condition and may be emotional. A comprehensive medical history will be required followed by a considered and considerate discussion on therapies that might be able to help.

This can be a challenge for most clinicians, but perhaps even more so for GPs who have to manage these complicated discussions in much tighter consultation times.

"Timing is also important. Benefits are maximum if we prescribe hormone therapy around the time menopausal symptoms begin to happen. If we wait for 10 or 15 years, we may have missed the boat."

Published with the permission of Jean Hailes for Women's Health.


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Women's Centre for Health Matters · PO Box 385 · Mawson · Canberra, Act 2607 · Australia

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